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Old 02-25-2006, 08:14 PM   #1
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A couple quick questions before "arranged" breedin

Hey folks,

I have 2 female unknown and 1 male unknown barbs in my tank that have been showing signs of breeding. I thought nothing of it since the one female the male is most interested in seems to be to young to produce eggs (looks like the male is mature enough but the female is not). I figured I'd just let this go, but now my other female, whom seems much larger and more mature, has been getting attention. Today I see them mate and this time I see a fertilized egg fall towards a leaf, but then is immediately eaten by a pestering tiger barb that is following the couple around the tank. Anytime an egg is laid, the barb immediately snatches it up.

I had originally not wanted any young since my tank was fully stocked, but since I had 3 deaths at the beginning due to an aggressive tiger barb, I would like to get 1 round of eggs to hatch. I have a small breeder/isolation cage that is floating in the tank right now. I can put 1 or 2 of my java ferns (they seem to only mate right against a leaf) in the cage with the male and either 1 or both of the females.

My concern is that the tank is very small. Here's the questions:

1. Can I put the plants in and put both mature female and male in to mate without the worry of them hurting each other.

2. If so, how long should I keep them in their? A day? An hour? I would assume that they might eat their own eggs after a while, but the male seems to be VERY aggressive at protecting his breeding spots so maybe they will be fine

3. Should I put both females in the cage? I've heard for most breeding you want more females than males so the females don't get too stressed from all the advances.

Please remember that the breeder cage is really small. Thanks!

justin
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Old 02-25-2006, 08:56 PM   #2
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The best way for breeding is a species tank. You need to figure out the ID on these fish too. Everyone should always know what they have in their tanks.

I highly doubt they'd be comfortable enough to breed in this cage you describe. You'd be better off partitioning the tank with a divider if you can't set up another tank, so the breeding trio aren't stuffed in a tiny environment. That may actually induce territorial disputes among the trio due to the much smaller area they would have to 'live' in.

Males defend breeding spots from other males, not neccessarily as a means to protect eggs.
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:57 AM   #3
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In addition, the breeding method most used is 2 males to 1 female. This insures a higher percentage of eggs will be fertilized. Most barbs will eat their eggs so a spawning medium such as java moss is needed. To repeat what TCTfish said, this really can't be accomplished without providing a secure breeeding tank for them.
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:36 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys.

As for the ID of the fish, I've tried several times on this board and on the net with no definative species. They were sold at the LFS as cherry barbs, but the general consensus on here is that they are definatley NOT cherry barbs. They appear to be either gold barbs or rosey barbs, but again we're not sure. I'm actually glad to see the breeding behavior because I now know that 3 of my unknown barbs are at least the same species (unless barbs mate with other species of barbs?).

I'm still on the fence about trying to get them to breed in the cage. I'm torn between the selfishness of wanting to try to breed them, but don't want to stress them out from getting them in and out of the cage, as well as possible violence between the male and female (I've decided against putting all 3 in). I've most noticed them trying to breed in the evening (right after the sun goes down), so if I decide to do this it will be tonight or tomorrow night with the lights in the room off (tank lights on) and I'll watch them carefully to make sure no aggressive behavior occurs.
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Old 02-26-2006, 10:19 AM   #5
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breeding barbs

There's nothing selfish about breeding fish, but it is naive to expect them to spawn in a tiny cage...especially after being chased down prior to being put into confinement.

Here are some photos of both a gold barb and a rosy barb. Notice the difference in pattern...the blotches or dots. Rosy barbs can either be red or yellowish. The yellowish ones are female whereas the red ones are male. The adult male I have pictured here is a long fin variety. Rosy barbs have a single dark spot by their tail, but no blotches along the body as seen on the gold barb. Gold barbs are also a bit more elongated than the rosies.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg rosybarb_lf_adultmale_916.jpg (78.1 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg gold_barb_147.jpg (80.2 KB, 30 views)
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Old 02-26-2006, 10:56 AM   #6
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That bottom picture (the gold barb) looks very similar to 2 of my unknowns. One of the other ones, however, is very bright yellow (metallic-like, similar to a goldfish) with just a single partially faded dot near the tail.



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Old 02-26-2006, 11:18 AM   #7
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I'd definitely rule out rosy barb. The gry one looks like it may be a different type of barb. The other two however, look the same. The one without the blotches along the side may be something due to genetics in captive bred specimens. Still not 100% if they are thee gold barb, but they are gold and they are barbs...LOL.

In a book I was looking through basically mentions the same thing for breeding most of the barbs. Generally one male to two female ratio with a course gravel bottom or plastic mesh to protect the eggs and to remove the parents from the tank after spawning, also to protect the eggs.

You need a species tank for the fish to spawn that is big enough for them to do their thing with minimal risk to the eggs being eaten.
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:16 PM   #8
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Thanks for the very detailed reply. That pic with the 3 fish to me looked like the same species just at different maturity levels, but I'll default to your much more experienced opinion.

The one without the blotches I was wondering if it was due to the warmer temperatures (my tank is 73). When I was unsure of the species I had read that the rosey barbs (or gold I can't remember) show their colors much better below 70 degrees F (like 68 optimal).

As for the breeding, would a 2.5gallon tank work for this? I would not have a heater or filter, just put tank temp water from the established tank and some sand from the established tank in the 2.5gallon, put the fish to breed in, leave them in for a couple of hours (the temp should drop no more than a degree during that time if I keep the tank in the sunlight and completely sealed from evaporation), watch them spawn, and then remove them back to the main tank.

I'd then take the eggs from the 2.5gallon tank and carefully put them in the breeder cage back in the main tank.

I could justify the small cost of a single tank (probably under $10 for a 2.5gallon from PetSmart) but really can't shell out for a whole setup right now (nor do I have the space for a permenant setup).

One last question. Is there ANY reasonable chance that in a tank of 12 barbs, 2 Oto's and 2 cory's that is not covered with any type of thick plants such as java moss or hair algae that any of these eggs could go uneaten and hatch? My gut would tell me now, but it would be worth a shot if the 2.5gallon setup is not acceptable.

Thanks again TCTFish.
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:45 PM   #9
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A 2.5 gallon is only suitable for a betta to spawn in. Barbs, tetras, rasboras, eels, otos, catfish of all kinds, etc. all need a full set up. Most fish rely on conditions of the water both chemistry and temperature play a major role in spawning fish. Even lighting can be a factor with some. The best way to get anything to breed in captivity is to have them in as natural of an environment as their own wild counterparts. You also would rather move the parents...not the eggs. Eggs are much better hatching in the water they are spawned in and the fry are very very delicate to changes in the water, so even moving the babies once they hatch can cause fatalities.

In your situation if you are short on cash to set up a breeder tank, then just partitian the main display tank having the breeding trio on one side and all the other fish on the other side. Once they spawn, just take them out to the other side and let nature take its course. Fish know best where to lay their eggs.

A partitian is easy to make and cheap...a simple perferated plastic sheet or screen that won't rust. You'd need clips to secure the partitian to the tank. Such things can be found at places like Home Depot. You might be able to find partitians available for your size tank on the market. I do believe Lee Mar makes them up to 55 gallon sizes. These partitians allow for water flow so they all share the same filtered water without hampering water flow to either side. Have the breeding trio on the side without the filter intake. This is so when the eggs hatch (30 to 36 hours after spawning) the fry aren't subjected to getting sucked up into the filter. The only danger at this point is if they can fit through the holes of the partitian. Fry are really tiny.

If you can set up and cycle a 10 gallon breeder tank, that'd be best. Same basic environment as the main display tank, but have a different filter. A good air pump driven sponge filter.

It must be the rosy barbs that color up better in cooler water being they are cooler water fish. They're one of the few barbs suitable for goldfish tanks and can live well in ponds. These gold barbs need stable temps at 78 degrees just as any other tropical fish.
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The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
Nov/2004
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